I had a blast at the Princess Half race weekend! I don’t have a lot of pictures yet (only what I took with my camera phone), but I can tell you all about my weekend!
This is kind of a long post — just an advanced warning : )
Friday after work Adam and I drove up to Disney. We stayed at Disney’s All Star Sports resort… normally, when we go to Disney we stay at Port Orleans, but I guess because it was race weekend the hotel prices were all really high, so we opted for one of Disney’s “budget” resorts.
The benefit of staying on Disney property is that you can take their transportation on race morning to the start…. this is important since they close a lot of the roads down for the race.
Our room was basic, but of course it came with a greeting from Mickey:
I got a couple hours of sleep on Friday night, but was up early on Saturday to meet my friend at packet pickup and the expo right when it opened!
The lighting in the expo was pretty low, so please excuse the bad quality of the photo. Bre took some more pictures with her good camera so hopefully I’ll see those soon!
I didn’t buy anything at the expo, but my friend’s husband and daughter got matching shirts. His says “My favorite Disney princess is my wife” and hers says “My favorite Disney princess is my mom.” How cute is that! (They ran out of shirts in size L for him hence the extra tight look haha).
Saw this in the bathroom : )
After the expo I accidentally took a nap, which was a killer because I wasn’t tired at all when my bedtime of 8:30pm came around.
I ended up falling asleep around 11:30pm and had a 2am wakeup call… ouch. Surprisingly when the alarm went off I didn’t feel too bad, I guess I had that race day adrenaline flowing!
That adrenaline carried me pretty much through mile four. At about mile 4.5 I decided it was time to start listening to music to pump me up, but realized that my earbuds somehow broke. Bummer.
I was a little deflated about that until about mile 5.5 when I finally made the turn onto Main Street and saw the castle in front of me! I’m not nearly as much of a Disney fan as most people that were in this race, but I admit I got really excited here!
I gave a great big cheesy smile to the photographer in the castle so I am excited to see that photo once its posted.
After turning out of Magic Kingdom at around the 10K mark I hit a low point until about mile 8.
I was feeling okay physically, but just kind of mentally out of it and bored. I texted my friends who had started in a later corral to see where they were, but they were too far back for me to stop and wait, so I ended up taking advantage of a couple of photo opportunities.
I didn’t really feel too bad about stopping because PRing at a Disney race would be hard. If you’re in Corral A it might work out, but I started right in the middle in Corral I and hit a lot of bottle necks and was stuck behind groups of walkers a lot. It wasn’t too bad at all in the beginning, but I would say after mile 7 and 8 a lot of people around me were walking pretty slow.
Surprisingly it was around mile 8 that I got a second wind and ended up running a couple miles at a cruising pace… until I hit the dreaded bridges.
Throwing three bridges into the last couple of miles of a half marathon — one right after the other — is just cruel.
I have decided that I HAVE to start running the bridges on my normal running route. Usually they are the only part of my route that I allow myself to walk… but no more! I will start running them!
After the last bridge you run right into Epcot which is where the finish line is located. I got a third wind here … and also emotional. I have pretty much been thinking about this race since I started seriously running!
When I crossed the finish line I simultaneously thought three things:
- I DID IT! I am a 2x half marathoner!
- I can’t wait to eat breakfast
- How many months until Portland? (the full marathon I’m signed up for)
I also looked at my Garmin and it read that I had run over 13.8 miles … my friend’s app said that she ran over 13.5 miles, so I think that the course was a little bit long. That means it was my longest run ever : )
This wasn’t a PR race by any means and there were a couple of low points, but overall it was A LOT more fun than my first half. I told my coach that I finished strong, but really that’s probably because I took a lot of breaks, hah. Oh well!
My official time was almost 3 1/2 hours … oops!
There will be other half marathons that I’ll take much more seriously…. probably. I tend to have my best, PR-type runs on days when I least expect it, so maybe I’ll never run a PR race. Who knows!
Just a couple months ago I don’t think I could have ever imagined calling a half marathon fun, so that’s an accomplishment in itself!
It’s hard to be mad about a race result when you’re at the happiest place on earth.
Oh, and I would be a terrible person if I didn’t mention how AWESOME the volunteers were. Every single volunteer I came across was so nice and enthusiastic! That was very much appreciated!
…More pictures to come soon!
Have you ever run a race just for fun?
Do you like running with friends or alone?